What is the shape of the methane molecule ?

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In a methane molecule, four hydrogen atoms are linked to one carbon atom by single covalent bonds. The four valence bonds of carbon are arranged tetrahedrally in space. Thus , a methane molecule has been a tetrahedral shape.

In the structure of methane molecule, the carbon atom is situated at the center of a tetrahedron and the four hydrogen atoms are located at the four corners of a tetrahedron. The four C-His covalent bonds are directed towards the four corners of the tetrahedron. The C-H bonds are inclined to each other atomic an angle of 109°28´, i.e. HCH is 109°28´.

The tetrahedral structure of methane is shown

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A ball and stick model of methane molecule is shown. Here, carbon and hydrogen atoms are represented by balls (made of wood or plastic), and single bonds by small sticks (made of wood or plastic). Since carbon atom is bigger in size than hydrogen atom, the ball representing carbon atom is bigger in size.

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